Thursday, 10 February 2011

Cameron breaks promises to Armed Forces.

The Conservatives have rightly come under some fierce criticism for their failure to deliver the promises they made to the Armed Forces before the election. Both Channel 4 News and the local Ipswich Evening Star asked me for my views on the Tories failure to stick to pre election promises on what they would do to make the Military Covenant law.

Here is my piece that I wrote for the Channel 4 News website:

I am sure today many soldiers will be sitting in their Units feeling they have been used by this Government - not used as in the way they would expect to be used- serving their country in Afghanistan, the Gulf, the Balkans but used by Cameron - as a publicity stunt.

The Tories claimed that Labour had broken the Military Covenant and that they would make sure it became law - yesterday they broke that promise - all we will get now is a report every year about the covenant.

Cameron also probably gained many votes off servicemen and veterans when he increased the operational allowance (an allowance introduced by labour) but what he forgot to say, whilst making his speech in June on HMS Ark Royal (scrapped) is that pay would be frozen and other allowances cut and scrapped. All with far more speed than it has taken to cut the allowances to MP's and the Lords

When I served in the Army, I had a decision to make when my daughter reached 11, would I put her in boarding school or move back to my home town. I chose my home town and I was able to do with help from the army through the 'Over 37' package, this gave me assistance in getting home once a month to see my family, and for them to settle down before I had to leave the forces at 40. that package is to be scrapped and also the boarding school allowance is to be cut.

So the only choice would be to leave your child in a Forces school, and that mean every two years they would change school- so much for looking after Forces families. There was talk from the Tories of paying for soldiers children to go to university, well if a child has to move schools every two years there would be little possibility if any child gained the academic qualifications to get into university.

Today many of my ex comrades feel used- used by Cameron in a cheap election gimmick.

On the Channel 4 News blog here, you can read by piece

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Alasdair, I appreciate many of your comments about the covenant. However, as the child of a serviceman myself, I'm not sure that sending me to a boarding school would've been a good thing. A child is distressed enough knowing their father/mother is fighting in a war for their country, but to be alone, away from their family in a boarding school environment? You did the right thing coming home IMO.